Community Furniture Stores

Community Furniture Stores

At a glance

Causes

  • Environment
  • Financial inclusion
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Poverty relief
  • Training / employment support

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

The Community Furniture Stores are a group of three jointly-run charities focusing on furniture re-use activity in the York, Selby and Ryedale/Scarborough areas. The objectives of the charities are:

HELPING HOUSEHOLDS IN NEED

To relieve generally or individually persons who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress by the provision by gift, sale, lease or otherwise of furniture or other facilities calculated to relieve such persons.

OFFERING TRAINING & VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES

To promote the advancement of education by providing education, support and work experience for people who are unemployed or otherwise in need of such training to equip them with the skills necessary to be able to find employment.

PROMOTING RE-USE & SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT

To protect and safeguard the environment through the practice and promotion of more sustainable waste management activities and the education of the public about environmental matters related to re-use and recycling of household and industrial waste.

DEVELOPING NEW SERVICES

To promote such other charitable purposes as the trustees/directors deem to be consistent with the objects and ethos of the charity.

Each year, our services help many 100s of households to achieve better living conditions by furnishing. their homes cost effectively.  We help many individuals achieve volunteering and work experience, raising their self esteem and developing new skills, enabling them to move on to employment or further training.  Our work saves 1000s of items of furniture and other household goods from being thrown away.  Please see activities section for more detail.

Activities

The Community Furniture Stores collect donated, unwanted furniture, large and small electrical appliances and other household items, and make them available for re-use.  Regular collection and delivery services are operated.  Donated items and some new goods are sold at the warehouses in York since 1988, Selby since 2004 and Scarborough since 2015.  

Meeting our objectives:

  • Helping households in need - households with limited resources, including people moving on from homelessness and others refered by local support agencies, are enabled to furnish their homes at reasonable cost.  A two-tier price system allows people with proof of low income to buy at lower prices; about 80% of customers qualify. The public may also purchase items but at higher prices.  CFS (York) supplies all household goods required through the Council’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.
  • Offering training and volunteering opportunities – various support agencies including Job Centres refer people for work experience in the warehouses and out on collections and delivery rounds, providing vital extra support at the Store.  We also have successful furniture refurbishment and upcycling workshops at Selby and Scarborough and ITReUse is a new workshop project at York.  On this basis, we tend to have about a small number of volunteers at any time, rather than individuals volunteering long-term. 
  • Educating & promoting re-use and sustainable waste management – as members of the national Furniture Re-use Network, the Stores provide re-use services to the general public.  These are promoted through local advertising, through the website and by the Stores vans being seen out and about.   The Stores handle collectively over 20,000 items of household goods, weighing about 475 tons, which might otherwise be thrown away. This includes checked and tested electrical items, and an increasing number of small appliances and lamps.

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